6-14-2012 June 14 Update

JUNE 14 2012 UPDATE

 

Ricketts Named Honda Softball Player of the Year

Junior pitcher becomes Oklahoma’s first ever winner of the award.

NORMAN, Okla. — Oklahoma’s Keilani Ricketts was named the 2012 Honda Softball Player of the Year by the The Collegiate Women Sports Awards program Wednesday. Already the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, Ricketts led the Sooners to a second-place finish at the Women’s College World Series and a final record of 54-10.

“It is truly an honor to have Keilani recognized as the top student-athlete in collegiate softball,” OU head coach Patty Gasso said. “She is a humble and hard-working person whose dedication to the sport has truly made being her teammate, coach or fan a blessing. Certainly, this is not just a reward for Keilani, but for all who have had the opportunity to be associated with her throughout her career.”

A three-time All-American, Ricketts ended the season ranked 10th in the country with an on-base percentage of .553 and 19th with an .825 slugging percentage. The Oklahoma junior was ninth nationally with 53 walks.

In the circle, the unanimous Big 12 Player of the Year ranked second in the NCAA with an ERA of 1.08, 457 strikeouts and 37 victories. Ricketts finished third in the nation in giving up just 3.91 hits per seven innings.

The Honda Sports Award is presented annually to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports. As a Honda prize recipient, Ricketts becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious Honda Cup to be presented this year on June 23, in a live broadcast from the ESPN Studios in Los Angeles. She was chosen by a vote of coaches from 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Katelyn Boyd of Arizona State University, Jolene Henderson of the University of California, Berkeley, and Jackie Traina of the University of Alabama.

Honda has been a sponsor of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards for 26 years. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $2.5 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions. Joining Ricketts on the current roster of 2012 Honda Sports Award winners are Sheila Reid of Villanova University (Cross Country), Megan Frazer of the University of Maryland (Field Hockey), Teresa Noyola of Stanford University (Soccer), Alex Jupiter of the University of Southern California (Volleyball), Caitlin Leverenz of the University of California, Berkeley (Swimming & Diving), Brittney Griner of Baylor University (Basketball), Kytra Hunter of the University of Florida (Gymnastics), Brooke Pancake of the University of Alabama (Golf), Nicole Gibbs of Stanford University (Tennis), Taylor Thornton of Northwestern University (Lacrosse), Honda Division II Athlete of the Year, Kari Daugherty of Ashland University (Basketball), Honda Division III Athlete of the Year, Stacey Hagensen of Pacific Lutheran University (Softball), and 2012 Honda Inspiration Award Winner, Elena Delle Donne of the University of Delaware (Basketball).

A PLEA TO THE SOFTBALL COMMUNITY

Nicole Ayres, an extremely talented pitcher who pitched for Jersey Inferno back in 2006, was slain by 28-year-old Stephen Headley on Sept. 13, 2010, a registered sex offender out on parole, who stabbed her 30 times and left her body in a field. He has pled guilty to intentionally luring her by using a mutual friend’s phone and texting her and getting her to agree to meet him and then killing her. The sentencing is on Aug. 3. Nicole’s family has been led to believe that with this plea, he will only be getting 30 years, which allows him to be free by the age of 58 with time served, in the prime of his life, able to do harm to another unsuspecting victim. Jersey Inferno and others  are trying to put pressure on the judge to let him know that this is just not acceptable. Following is a link to sign a petition that will go to the judge and the governor of NJ. http://www.change.org/petitions/justice-for-nicole

Keystone Closes Out 2012 On Top Of USA Today/NFCA High School Top 25 Poll
June 14, 2012

STARKVILLE, Miss. – A perfect season and the Ohio Division II state were enough to cement Keystone’s place as the nation’s top high school softball program, according to the final USA Today/NFCA High School Top 25 poll that was released by the Association on Thursday.

The Wildcats jumped to the top of the rankings last week and held on to the spot in the final edition, as well.

The rest of the top five also remained unchanged with Norco (CA), Northern (MD), Porter Ridge (NC) and Bishop O’Connell coming in at second through fifth. Undefeated Louisiana Class 2A champ John Curtis Christian moved up in the poll from 10th to sixth, while undefeated Bryant (AR) also made a charge from 22nd to seventh.

The USA Today/NFCA High School Top 25 poll is compiled by state representatives from across the country.

 

Rank

Team

Record

Last Poll

1

Keystone (OH)

32-0

1

2

Norco (CA)

31-2

2

3

Northern (MD)

25-0

3

4

Porter Ridge (NC)

33-1

4

5

Bishop O’Connell (VA)

27-1

5

6

John Curtis Christian (LA)

31-0

10

7

Bryant (AR)

24-0

22

8

Deer Park (TX)

31-8

NR

9

Chamberlain (FL)

27-5

NR

10

Archbishop Mitty (CA)

28-2

NR

11

Canyon del Oro (AZ)

33-5

NR

12

Woodinville (WA)

26-0

RV

13

Olathe East (KS)

24-1

NR

14

Soddy Daisy (TN)

46-5

NR

15

Immaculate Heart Acad. (NJ)

32-0

RV

16

Sparkman (AL)

38-6

RV

17

Glenbard South (IL)

36-4

NR

18

Mercy (KY)

37-8

NR

19

Alvirne (NH)

17-4

NR

20

El Diamante (CA)

30-2

6

21

Alexander Central (NC)

29-2

7

22

The Woodlands (TX)

30-5

8

23

Topsail (NC)

26-1

9

24

Walla Walla (WA)

26-2

11

T25

Beech (TN)

49-4

12

T25

Estrella Foothills (AZ)

33-1

14

Dropped Out: No. 13 Plano East (TX), No. 15 Niceville (FL), No. 16 Amador Valley (CA), No. 17 Alvin (TX), No. 18 Palm Beach Gardens (FL), No. 19 Sunrise Mountain (AZ), No. 20 Eau Gallie (FL), No. 21 Tomball (TX), No. 23 Glenbard North (IL), No. 24 Pacifica (CA), No. 25 Pearland (TX)

Others Receiving Votes: Plano East (TX), Niceville (FL), Amador Valley (CA), Alvin (TX), Palm Beach Gardens (FL), Sunrise Mountain (AZ), Eau Gallie (FL), Tomball (TX), Glenbard North (IL), Pacifica (CA), Pearland (TX), Kenston Forest (VA), Lone Oak (KY), Katy (TX), Lakeshore (MI), Poland Seminary (OH), Sussex Tech (DE), Valley (OH), Sam Houston (LA)

 NPF Announces Schedule Change For Regular Season Carolina Diamonds and USSSA Pride Series

The NPF has announced a schedule change for the month of June. The June 23 double header featuring the USSSA Florida Pride and the Carolina Diamonds was originally scheduled to be played at Knights Stadium in Ft. Mill, SC. The location of the double header has been changed and will now be played at the NTC Softball Complex in Clermont, FL. The double header is part of a day of celebration recognizing the 40th anniversary of Title IX and both games will air on ESPN3 live at 1:00 and 4:00 pm EST.

“The Pride and the Diamonds are playing each other in Florida on Thursday, June 21 which would have forced a quick turnaround in travel for both organizations. With the Title IX celebration on the 23rd, we wanted to be sure the players were adequately prepared for a full day of competition and ancillary activities and it became clear that the best way to do that was to eliminate some of the travel. We regret the inconvenience this may cause to fans of the Carolina Diamonds, but we are looking forward to hosting this exciting day at the National Training Center in Clermont,” commented NPF Commissioner, Cheri Kempf.

Racers rally late, fall to Pride 3-2
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – June 14, 2012 – With a 3-1 lead in the top of the sixth inning, USSSA Florida Pride (2-3) pitcher Danielle Lawrie (2-0) battled Racers’ second baseman Nicole Pauly.  Pauly got the best of Lawrie, smacking an RBI single to close the scoring gap to 3-2, however the Pride ace held tight in the circle, closing out the game for a complete game victory and a Pride win.  Racers’ (3-2) short stop Aja Paculba brought in the first run of the game with an RBI double in the third inning, her eighth RBI on the season, to give the Racers a short-lived 1-0 lead. Florida hitters rallied back, scoring three runs in the next two innings to give the franchise their second victory of the season.  Kristina Thorson (1-2) took the loss for the Racers, going six innings while walking three, striking out one and allowing three runs.

 

INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM
Not sure how many Spy readers also read New York magazine but it is turning out superior investigative journalism.  Eg, the recent story on the Supreme Court with special focus on Justice Kennedy, who has become the swing vote on a court sharply divided 4-4; Kennedy in fact proposed a ruling on Citizens United which went far beyond the relief sought by the appellant and resulted in the no-holds barred spending by corporations which is influencing today’s presidential contest.  Next up: Obamacare.  The Roberts Court, the article says, has gone far beyond its traditional role of interpreting the law, but is now making the law.

The other New York story relates the financial difficulties of The New York Times. Inarguably the  world’s greatest newspaper, the Times and its Boston Globe sister paper, once worth a combined $7 billion, now have a combined worth of less than $1 billion. Beyond the infighting, the story addresses the travails of all big city newspapers – declining ad revenues as readers (and advertisers) turn to electronic media.  In my day as an ink-stained wretch, there were a number of great newspapers.  For sports alone in NYC, we had the Times, the Daily News, the Mirror, the Herald Tribune, the NY Post, and Journal American.  The Wall St Journal ignored sports but Newsday provided good coverage of all news. Beyond the Hudson, there was the Boston Globe, the Chicago Sun Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Denver Post, the St Louis Post Dispatch, the Dallas Morning News, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times, and the New Orleans Times Picayune.  Sadly, the Times Picayune just announced it would no longer print daily but thrice weekly.  We’re losing something television cannot replace – detailed, literate analysis.

 

Potpourri. 

The Weaker Sex? A Japanese woman chased a mugger who stole her handbag, retrieved her bag, then bit off his finger.  A Chinese woman argued with a shop keeper, became so enraged she squeezed his testicles until he died.

Fake IDs.  A University of Iowa student was charged with trying to get into a bar using a stolen driver’s license; whoops, the license belonged to the bouncer working the door.
Eating lunch in the bathroom.  A new study by a microbiologist found that the most germ-filled office surfaces are the desktops and the table in the break room.  There is 400 times more bacteria on an office desktop than the toilet seat, he alleged.

 

 

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